The Twelve #1/2
What we have here is a reprint of 5 stories from the golden age of comics, 2 stories of the Fiery Mask, one of Mister E and two of Rockman. It’s a bumper issue, as the next issue of The Twelve isn’t going to be published until October. The stories have the simplistic art and the ridiculous plots that we’ve come to expect from the time period they were created in but they’re fun nonetheless. This comic is notable for having two stories written and drawn Joe Simon, (the fiery Mask ones), one written by Stan Lee (one of the Rockman stories) and one written and drawn by Basil Wolverton (the other Rockman tale). The fiery Mask stories have an odd horror edge to them with a Green Zombie-making doctor and blood draining experiments. The Mister E story is kinda dull but the villain, “the Vampire” (who is not vampire), is kinda interesting as a low-grade Cobra Commander. The Rockman stories are fun with Rockman creating a Tsunami to wipe out the villain’s island lair and Rockman battling underground pixies to rescue a princess.
Army of Darkness #12.
The Home Sweet Hell storyline wraps up with Ash returned to his proper Chosen One status after fighting the Seven Deadly Sins. The Seven Deadly sins are both a parody and an homage to the Hellraiser cenobites and Piers Anthony’s incarnations of immortality. This makes me wonder if there was a Hellraiser / Army of Darkness crossover that fell through. This issue has the solid horror/comedy action that I’ve come to expect from AoD.
Jonah Hex #35
Justin Grey and Jimmy Palmiotti haven’t let me down yet and Hex 35 is another example of their prowess as writers. Seems Jonah has proven himself a little too macho this time around and some folks that would like to use him for their own purposes notice his manliness. The art by J.H. Willams is excellent, his style is kinda like Tony Harris crossed with Moebius. Jonah’s scars really look anatomically possible this time around. The “done in one” comic is almost a lost art nowadays but it’s still alive and well in this issue.
Tor’s story is winding down as our prehistoric hero gets offered up as sacrifice to the sprits by ape-men. Of course he gets out of it and rescues the girl but not before getting bruised and battered. An intriguing aspect of Joe Kubet’s Tor is that selfless acts are considered a strange aberration by most of the inhabitants this primeval world. Tor represents a new kind of being, one that is thoughtful, curious, and even noble in a savage way. Kubert’s art doesn’t disappoint, as his beasties are the best in the biz. It’s weird that Tor’s Dark skinned woman can’t be drawn with nipples though.
The Secret Six #1
I enjoyed Villains United so I though I’d try this new ongoing title written by Gail Simone. I was a little lost as I hadn’t realized that this supervillain team has already had several appearances since Villains United, but I was brought up to speed quickly with a wikipedia check. I was reminded that comics aren’t’ for kids anymore with a gay strip club scene in the first page and a grisly murder a few pages later but hey, I’m an adult so why should I care right? I’m really enjoying the characterizations of both Catman and Deadshot. The big spoiler is that Bane’s on the team. It looks like I finally found a DC team comic to replace Shadowpact and it has much better writing.
Marvel Apes #1
This was a lot better than I thought it was going to be as there were plenty of chuckles. The ape version of the Marvel universe has a lot to like such as Spider-Monkey and vines growing everywhere. I’m intrigued by ApeX as he seems to have no analogue plus the running joke about Oregon was funny too. I guess Karl Kessel means that the dirty hippies from Oregon shave on Earth Ape.
The War that Time Forgot #5
This title is treading water. It’s a great concept to have all of DC comics various non-superhero characters gathered together from different time periods in a Lost World setting, but maybe there are too many characters or something. I’m not getting enough examination of what everyone is going through. There were some shadowy figures shown running what seems to be an experiment with all these time-lost soldiers but their motivations are not revealed. Plus, where’s the war? I thought we’d have some big battles by now. I’m glad G.I. Robot looks like he might not be down for the count.
Witness to War
I bought this is a graphic novel a while ago. It took me a long time to read it because the art is somewhat amateurish and so I thought it might not be that good of a story. But as far as war comics go, I think it is excellent on the scripting end. WtW tells the fictional story of Anna Krieg, a journalist that gets caught up in the events of the Battle of the Bulge. It’s a fresh concept to tell a WWII story through a woman’s eyes but it is also a great storytelling device to have the narrator be a journalist. The squad level combat was riveting and that fact that a female character was going threw it added to the excitement. I think this book opens up a whole new arena of war comic possibilities. Imagine Sgt. Rock, the Haunted Tank, and the Losers hooking up with female Journalist. Now that could have been a very cool series. The book also includes a fairly long prose chapter on the history of battle itself.